(Photo by Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)
All Morgan Freeman Movies Ranked By Tomatometer
Morgan Freeman. Read this sentence in his voice. That familiar sound of authoritative benevolence, that could make an intro paragraph soar like a songbird with world-weariest wings. Freeman has lent his sonorous gift for narration to dozens of documentaries, including March of the Penguins, and to several of his narrative films, like Million Dollar Baby and, to lasting generational effect, in The Shawshank Redemption.
But before the voice of God got to play God (see: Bruce and Evan Almighty), Freeman had to humbly serve the silver screen in bit and seriously secondary parts for two decades. He got his big break performing the the lead villain in Christopher Reeve’s journalism thriller Street Smart, for which he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. That was released in 1987 and is where we’ll start Freeman’s filmography for this guide. Just two years later, he was on the national radar with the Best Picture-winning Driving Miss Daisy, for which he was once more nominated. The Academy has recognized his work three times since: Shawshank, Million Dollar Baby (for which he won), and Invictus.
The Daisy prestige brought in a raft of memorable roles for Freeman, including in Glory, Unforgiven, and Seven. He also seems to have a knack for being in the right comic book movie at the right time: see Red, Wanted, and his turn as Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight trilogy. We’re taking a look back on a celebrated career with this list of all Morgan Freeman movies ranked by Tomatometer!
Critics Consensus:The Bonfire of the Vanities is a vapid adaptation of a thoughtful book, fatally miscast and shorn of the source material's crucial sense of irony. Add it to the pyre of Hollywood's ambitious failures.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of the Tom Wolfe novel, powerful Wall Street executive Sherman McCoy (Tom Hanks) is riding with his... [More]
Critics Consensus: Neither Rob Reiner nor Morgan Freeman are able to conjure up their old magic in this dull trifle, with both director and star appearing content to tread through the paces of the saccharine script.
Synopsis: An alcoholic, disabled novelist (Morgan Freeman) finds his muse again after he moves into a lakeside cabin and meets a... [More]
Critics Consensus:Ted 2 reunites Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane for another round of sophomoric, scatological humor -- and just as before, your enjoyment will depend on your tolerance for all of the above.
Synopsis: Life has changed drastically for thunder buddies John (Mark Wahlberg), now a bachelor, and best pal Ted (Seth MacFarlane), now... [More]
Critics Consensus: It's far from original, but Olympus Has Fallen benefits from Antoine Fuqua's tense direction and a strong performance from Gerard Butler -- which might just be enough for action junkies.
Synopsis: The unthinkable happens when heavily armed and highly trained terrorists launch a bold daytime attack on the White House. The... [More]
Critics Consensus:Wanted is stylish, energetic popcorn fare with witty performances from Angelina Jolie (playing an expert assassin), James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman that help to distract from its absurdly over-the-top plot.
Synopsis: Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) is an office worker whose life is going nowhere. After his estranged father is murdered, he... [More]
Critics Consensus: It may not be the killer thrill ride you'd expect from an action movie with a cast of this caliber, but Red still thoroughly outshines most of its big-budget counterparts with its wit and style.
Synopsis: After surviving an assault from a squad of hit men, retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reassembles his old... [More]
Critics Consensus: Delivered with typically stately precision by director Clint Eastwood, Invictus may not be rousing enough for some viewers, but Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman inhabit their real-life characters with admirable conviction.
Synopsis: Following the fall of apartheid, newly elected President Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) faces a South Africa that is racially and... [More]
Critics Consensus: Clint Eastwood's assured direction - combined with knockout performances from Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman - help Million Dollar Baby to transcend its clichés, and the result is deeply heartfelt and moving.
Synopsis: Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is a veteran Los Angeles boxing trainer who keeps almost everyone at arm's length, except his... [More]
Critics Consensus: As both director and star, Clint Eastwood strips away decades of Hollywood varnish applied to the Wild West, and emerges with a series of harshly eloquent statements about the nature of violence.
Synopsis: When prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald (Anna Thomson) is disfigured by a pair of cowboys in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, her fellow brothel... [More]
Charlize’s hair apparent to her Furiosa character in Mad Max: Fury Road is Atomic Blonde, as she inhabits a new badass creation with a license to break bones and drub clowns across ’80s Germany. We could go Theron and on but let’s cut to the chase: Here’s 24 more female action movies, ranked by Tomatometer!
Jennifer Lawrence’s latest collabo with director David O. Russell has the 25-year old actress starring as Joy Mangano, a single mother and entrepreneur who invents the Miracle Mop. The movie is aptly called Joy and (see if you can follow us on this one) inspires this week’s 24 Frames gallery: all the single female titles that we think you might enjoy watching.
This week on home video, we’ve got a new action thriller from Luc Besson, a mediocre Conjuring spinoff, and Laika’s latest stop-motion feature film. Then we also have a number of notable smaller films, like a Certified Fresh crime drama starring Tom Hardy and an acclaimed documentary about an internet activist. Read on for details:
French writer-director Luc Besson has been the brains behind some of the most gleefully brainless thrillers in recent memory, like the Taken franchise, and though he doesn’t get behind the camera as often as he once did, we still get something like Lucy every once in a while. Scarlett Johansson stars as an American ex-pat living in Taiwan who is forced to become a drug mule by a Korean mob boss. When the experimental drug begins seeping into her system, she begins to experience heightened physical and mental abilities, which she utilizes to seek revenge. Besson has a thing for powerful leading ladies, and Lucy seems to be aware of its own silliness, so critics were relatively kind to the film, ludicrous logic and all. It may dumbfound you and confound you, but if you’re looking for a cheesy actioner, this may do the trick.
The very beginning of 2013’s horror hit The Conjuring introduced audiences to the paranormal team of Ed and Lorraine Warren via the story of a mysterious doll named Annabelle. While we wait for the sequel to that film, the producers thought, “Eh, why not throw’em a bone in the meantime?” Hence, last year’s Annabelle, a Conjuring spinoff that includes the same introductory scene from the earlier film and builds off that to explain the origins of the creepy possessed doll that makes things go bump in the night. Unfortunately, critics weren’t too impressed with the story, which, like a lot of horror films these days, simply borrows elements from better predecessors and attempts to jump-scare you into submission. At just 29 percent on the Tomatometer, Annabelle is kind of a poor appetizer for The Conjuring 2, but if you just want to spend more time in that universe, it’ll do.
The stop-motion animation studio Laika had great success with their first two features, 2009’s Coraline and 2012’s ParaNorman, so there was some anticipation for their third, The Boxtrolls. Isaac Hempstead-Wright leads an all-star voice cast as Eggs, a human boy raised by the titular Boxtrolls in an underground home beneath the city of Cheesebridge. The Boxtrolls are misunderstood, however, and when an exterminator named Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) vows to wipe them out, Eggs teams up with this first human friend, Winnie (Elle Fanning), to save his family. If you’ve seen the trailer for this film, you know that its visuals are both typically spectacular and a little off-kilter, which is also indicative of its sense of humor. Though it’s not Laika’s best effort to date, it’s still an entertaining family film that’s fascinating to watch.
Also available this week:
The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (93 percent), a Certified Fresh documentary about the programming wiz (and Reddit co-founder) whose tireless efforts in information activism resulted in legal troubles and, ultimately, suicide at the age of 26.
The Drop (89 percent), starring Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini in a Certified Fresh crime thriller about a bartender who gets targeted by the Chechen mob when a robbery goes awry.
The Mule (85 percent), a dark comedy about a drug mule who decides withhold evidence by not… performing his bodily functions.
The Green Prince (77 percent), a documentary about Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian who operated as an Israeli spy.
William H. Macy’s Rudderless (63 percent), starring Billy Crudup and Anton Yelchin in the story of a grieving father who discovers his son’s demo tapes and decides to form a band to play the music.
Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem (52 percent), starring Christoph Waltz and Matt Damon in a sci-fi drama about a computer genius tasked with discovering the meaning of life.
White Bird in a Blizzard (49 percent), starring Shailene Woodley in a coming-of-age drama about a young woman whose mother goes missing and who slowly comes to grips with the truth about the disappearance.
A Little Game, starring Janeane Garofalo and F. Murray Abraham in a family drama about a young girl who doesn’t get along with her peers but becomes unlikely friends with a local chess master.
Newly available to stream this week are a couple of recent releases, one of which starred Scarlett Johansson as a superpowered femme fatale, while the other starred Chloe Grace Moretz and Keira Knightley in a dramedy about arrested development and female bonding. Then we’ve got a number of notable new choices on Netflix, including a couple of classic films, a few comedy favorites, and more. Read on for the full list:
Scarlett Johansson stars as a student who’s kidnapped and forced to act as a drug mule. When she unintentionally consumes the drug, she quickly morphs into a hyper intelligent, telekinetic killing machine.
In one of their classic collaborations, John Wayne stars in John Ford’s Oscar-winning romance, in which an Irish-American boxer returns to his homeland and falls in love with the daughter of the man who covets his family property.
Byron Haskin’s 1953 adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic is the one that critics feel most closely captured the spirit of the book, and in spite of its technical limitations, it made full use of Wells’ timeless themes while incorporating Cold War commentary.
Joel Schumacher’s entry in the Batman canon, which starred George Clooney as the Caped Crusader and Chris O’Donnell as his sidekick Robin, famously “killed” the late 1980s-to-mid-1990s iteration of the franchise in a flurry of batsuit nipples and bad Mr. Freeze puns. Still, it’s got some kitsch value and remains, for some, bizarrely watchable.
Inspired to serve his country after 9/11, Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) joins the Marines. After being injured in Afghanistan, Ryan is recruited in the CIA, and soon he’s on the trail of a Russian terrorist plot.
Scarlett Johansson’s brains beat Dwayne Johnson’s brawn in a head-to-head showdown between star-driven summer action films. The sci-fi thriller Lucy attracted a larger crowd and captured the number one spot while the epic adventure Hercules enjoyed a fine debut in the runner-up spot connecting with its own fan base. Overall ticket sales were about even with last week, but fell below last year’s levels for the seventh consecutive weekend.
Universal scored a number one debut with Lucy which opened ahead of expectations to an estimated $44M from 3,173 theaters for a potent $13,875 average. It was especially impressive given that there was no 3D to boost grosses, no brand with a built-in audience to tap into, and no track record of Johansson ever anchoring an action movie on her own before. Plus reviews were not that strong either for the R-rated pic.
The actress has built herself up as an action hero over the years playing Black Widow in a handful of Marvel films in a supporting role. Last April’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier featured her prominently in the film – and marketing – making moviegoers ready to see her headline her own action vehicle. Johansson’s appeal is broad and the film’s concept was sold effectively in slick trailers and TV spots which engaged audiences.
Lucy‘s broad appeal was evident in the demographic breakdown. Studio research showed that males and females were evenly split 50/50 (that’s a big female share for the action genre) and turnout across all races was strong. 65% was non-white. Age-wise it skewed older with a very high 65% being over 25. Angelina Jolie has been the only woman in Hollywood who consistently was bankable as an action lead in all projects. ScarJo sells and is now ready to take the baton.
As strong as the opening weekend was, Lucy should have a troubling road ahead. Paying audiences were not entirely satisfied as the CinemaScore grade was a discouraging C+. And Marvel, the very company that made her an action star, will attack the box office this Thursday night with guns blazing as it unleashes its next comic property Guardians of the Galaxy which it is investing heavily into as the company prepares to launch what it hopes will be a lucrative new franchise. Guardians reviews are sensational so far.
Still, budgeted at only $40M, Lucy has a good chance of breaking $100M in domestic sales. Set in many cities across the globe including Taipei and Paris, the Luc Besson-directed hit should enjoy a healthy international run as well. No release date has been secured for China yet and with the country’s quota system for imported movies, and the film’s prominent setting in Taiwan, it is not guaranteed to be allowed into the mainland.
Opening in second place with respectable results was the historical epic Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson with an estimated $29M. The PG-13 pic averaged a good $8,067 from 3,595 locations and was helped by 3D and IMAX ticket prices. Not surprisingly, adult men made up the bulk of the crowd as studio data showed that the audience was 58% male and 64% over 25. The CinemaScore grade was a decent B+ and $4M of the take came from IMAX screens.
It was more than triple the size of the other film this year about this muscle man. January’s The Legend of Hercules starring Kellan Lutz bowed to a weak $8.9M on its way to a puny $18.8M final. The Rock’s new movie made more than that in its first two days alone. Among films the wrestler-actor has anchored solo, Hercules scored his second best opening ever after the $36.1M of 2002’s The Scorpion King which was his first starring vehicle.
Hercules launched in 25 markets overseas this weekend and captured an estimated $28.7M with Russia’s huge $12M debut accounting for a massive share of the gross. Budgeted at about $100M, the Brett Ratner-directed adventure film earned mixed reviews.
With two new action vehicles entering the marketplace, two-time champ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes took a tumble and fell 55% to an estimated $16.4M pushing the new cume up to a solid $172.1M – just $4.7M shy of its predecessor’s domestic final. 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes had little competition in its third lap that summer following two weeks at number one and slipped only 42% in the third frame. Dawn still seems on track for a final North American take of around $215M.
When is a 67% plunge good news? When you are the horror sequel The Purge: Anarchy and your predecessor fell 76% in its sophomore session. The Universal title held up better thanks in part to weaker competition – last year’s Purge faced in its second weekend the monster $116.6M opening of Man of Steel. With an estimated $9.9M weekend and $51.3M total to date, Anarchy looks likely to finish with around $65-70M which is a great take for a $9M-budgeted sequel with a marketing tab that was not outrageous. Plus it will be slightly better than the $64.5M final of last year’s installment.
Disney’s animated sequel Planes: Fire and Rescue declined by 47% to an estimated $9.3M in its second flight and lifted its sum to $35.1M. Look for a $55-60M final. Animation has been the weakest sector at this summer’s box office as the season’s toons to date have grossed only $201M which is down an alarming 72% from the $725M at this same point last summer. That’s a whopping $524M of less spending on toons this summer. With Pixar sitting it out for the first time in nine summers, and nobody really filling that void, this genre has been a main factor in this summer’s alarming deficit from last year with total box office down about 20%.
The Cameron Diaz film Sex Tape dropped by a hefty 59% after a weak debut with only $6M this weekend, according to estimates. With a lackluster $26.9M so far, the Sony title should end its run with a lackluster $40M or so.
Plunging 53%, Transformers: Age of Extinction nabbed an estimated $4.6M giving Paramount $236.4M to date from the franchise’s increasingly less important market of North America. Overseas, the China total broke the $300M barrier, the first film to ever do that – Chinese or American. The international cume rose to a staggering $730M pushing the worldwide haul up to $966.4M with the billion dollar mark ready to be smashed in the coming days. With Japan and Spain still to open, Extinction’s overseas gross is still on track to end up in the same neighborhood as the $895M of The Avengers.
The Michael Douglas-Diane Keaton comedy And So It Goes was the latest clunker for director Rob Reiner opening in eighth place with a lousy $4.6M, according to estimates. The Clarius release averaged a wimpy $2,583 from 1,762 locations and never generated much interest – or awareness – in the marketplace. Reviews were dreadful, though the CinemaScore was a decent B+.
Warner Bros. collected an estimated $3.4M for Tammy, off 54%, for a new cume of $78.1M. Opening well in tenth place was the new spy thriller A Most Wanted Man starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman with an estimated $2.7M from only 361 locations for a solid $7,526 average. The German-set suspense film earned stellar reviews for Roadside Attractions and played to an upscale audience of older adults. It was the type of film Focus often released in late August targeting the same crowd.
The most-talked-about film in the indie world, Richard Linklater’s critical darling Boyhood, expanded again in its third weekend going from 34 to 107 locations grossing an estimated $1.7M, up 47% from last weekend. The average for the IFC Films release was a solid $16,121 and more cities will open next weekend. Cume is $4.1M.
New domestic totals for summer’s recent blockbusters dropping out of the top ten include $232.1M for Maleficent, $231.3M for X-Men: Days of Future Past, $185.7M for 22 Jump Street, $165.6M for How to Train Your Dragon 2, and $122.7M for The Fault In Our Stars.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $129.9M which was down 14% from last year when The Wolverine opened at number one with $53.1M; but up 5% from 2012 when The Dark Knight Rises stayed on top with $62.1M.
It’s a special, extended podcast from San Diego Comic-con. After covering the Tomatometers for this week’s movies, Team Tomato shares interviews with Benedict Cumberbatch, Rob Letterman & Jack Black for Goosebumps, Ian Ziering & Tara Reid for Sharknado 2, Doug Jones, Orlando Jones, directors Jen & Sylvia Soska, Key & Peele, Peter Atencio, and Kaya Scodelario & Will Poulter for The Maze Runner.
He was the son of a god. He had bulging biceps. He battled all manner of oversized, multi-headed mythological beast. Hercules was essentially an action hero two millennia before the birth of cinema, and critics say much of the fun of Hercules is in its commitment to swashbuckling escapism — this may not be the brainiest flick on the block, but at least it never feels like a dull classics lecture. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as Herc, who, after completing his fabled labors, assembles a crew of fighters to topple a bloodthirsty megalomaniac. The pundits say Hercules isn’t particularly deep, but it never takes itself too seriously, either, and the result is a surprisingly hearty sword-and-sandal popcorn movie. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Johnson’s best-reviewed films.)
Luc Besson, the director of such cult favorites as Léon: The Professional and The Fifth Element, has never been one for subtlety or nuance. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though critics say his latest, Lucy, works a lot better as a stylishly eccentric thrill-ride than as a heady sci-fi trip. Scarlett Johansson stars as a student who’s kidnapped and forced to act as a drug mule. When she unintentionally consumes the drug, she quickly morphs into a hyper intelligent, telekinetic killing machine. The pundits say Lucy is short on logic and well-developed characters, but it’s slick, briskly-paced, and often quite entertaining.
Not every summer movie has to be a pulse-pounding explosion-fest, but a little energy is always nice. Unfortunately, critics say the combined talents of director Rob Reiner and stars Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton can’t do much to elevate And So It Goes‘ predictable script and slack pacing. Douglas stars as a misanthropic realtor who is suddenly tasked with caring for a granddaughter he never knew existed. Eventually, our hero takes a shine to the tot — and develops a kinship with his charming neighbor (Keaton). The pundits say And So It Goes feels more like a sitcom than a film, and only the stars’ considerable talents keep it from being a complete waste of time. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of dysfunctional movie families.)